Our Perfectly Personal Wedding Day... Summer Spectacular 29th July 2012

The Beginning


So I was wondering whether anyone would want to read my wedding report as I’m not a regular poster on here, but I spent so many hours browsing forums and finding ideas and answers to my questions on the site that I thought I’d like to put it all together in one report.


I moved to Cyprus in August 2008, ready for a new job and hopefully some fun times meeting lots of new people.  It was here that I met Mr C. Determined to enjoy the single life for as long as possible after coming out of a long term relationship, I didn’t really want anything serious, but when he offered to cook me dinner for our first date after I had just come out of hospital after a knee operation, I thought he must be ok. So in January 2009 we had our first date.


That dinner led to many other dates and because of our social circles mixing very often, the relationship moved quite quickly. In May of 2009, we had attended our first  ‘proper’ social event together (a friend’s wedding), been on our first holiday (Dubai) and he had moved in to my apartment.


We enjoyed an amazing few months living in a holiday resort working until lunchtime, and enjoying afternoons by the pool or at the beach. It all seemed a bit too good to be true.


 One of our first meetings... we sang karaoke together (he is on the right)



  • This turned out to be the case, as in January 2010 Mr C was posted back to the UK for a 15 month course to prepare him for a 6 month tour of Afghanistan. We knew it was going to happen; it just seemed to come round so soon.

     So from January 2010, Mr C and I began a long distance relationship. I had very good job in Cyprus, and we couldn’t afford for me to leave at that point, so we made do with skype and very expensive monthly flights back and forth. It was so hard not having him there with me, and made the relationship difficult at times, but we managed to speak every day. It did make for some lovely weekends both in Cyprus and London when one of us visited the other, and we had some brilliant times.


     Our first home (or my home that he moved into)

  • I know people like to see actual wedding photos in a report, and I will put lots on of our ideas later, but here are a few to be going on with:







  • The Proposal

     Working in a military environment, there were a number of events that I was invited to attend. Summer and Christmas Balls were some of the best social occasions, and were very formal affairs. Mr C and I had always attended these events together, and so as the Christmas 2010 Ball came round I was feeling a little sad that he wasn’t going to be there. We had in fact looked at flights and they worked out far too expensive for just the weekend, when I was already flying home a few weeks later for Christmas. In the weeks running up to the Ball, I was getting a bit stressed as I couldn’t find anything to wear. There were strict dress codes at these events and I hadn’t found anything suitable up until the day before the Ball. I had friends coming  round to my house with dresses under their arms trying to find something I liked, and I searched just about every shop in Limassol and Paphos to find a dress. No luck, and so Cinderella was not going to the ball.


    To top things off, I had a text message from Mr C’s sister on the morning of the ball telling me that his phone had broken and he was going to spend the day in a Costa Coffee (for the free wifi) trying to fix it. To say I was feeling unhappy was a bit of an understatement.


    Maybe you are thinking something strange was going on here…. I didn’t notice anything fishy!!


    A fairy Godmother, in the shape of a good friend offered me a dress she had bought, but didn’t want to wear. It was black, which I don’t really like, so she said I could wear it, and then she’d send it back to the shop…. Naughty I know, but I agreed. Now it was time for operation make me beautiful J



    My good friend did my hair (she also did my hair for my wedding – pics to follow), and I wore the borrowed dress.


    Little did I know there had been a huge web of deceit being woven around me in the weeks prior to the Ball.   My friends were in on the plan and knew all about what was going to happen. My 2 friends and I arrived at the hotel a little before the drinks reception, as we had arranged to go to another friends’ room for drinks beforehand. We knocked at the door, and who should open it, in a tux, carrying a dozen red roses. It was only Mr C. They pushed me inside the door and disappeared. I was in complete shock, I almost didn’t notice the champagne on ice and the tealights all around the room. Next thing I know he is down on one knee asking the big question. Cue lots of screaming as we arrived at the drinks reception J (He had even been out to Westfield Shopping Centre the night before as my friend had told him I still didn’t have a dress).



     Needless to say, we had a great time at the Ball!

  • The Planning


    It was still very difficult, as we continued to live apart. Mr C was due to go to Afghan in May, and that was hanging over us a little. I planned to stay in Cyprus until August 2011, as he would be in Afghanistan until Nov and I thought I’d see out the school year.


    We set some time aside in February half term to look at venues and hopefully get something booked. Things were hard as we had to fit viewings into a few days. I am originally from Birmingham and Mr C from Bolton, so we decided to look somewhere in the middle. We searched a few venues in the Cheshire area and booked some viewings.


    Heaton House Farm was amazing from the outset. The venue was stunning, and the staff seemed to be completely on board with what we wanted to do. It was everything we wanted in a wedding venue and we were very hopeful.




    The next place we viewed was Thornton Manor. Completely different from Heaton House, it was very traditional and rigid in terms of proceedings and structure of the day. It wasn’t right for us.



    We had an appointment at Moddershall Oaks, a new venue which looked amazing in the pictures. We talked about the last two venues, and we both knew we weren’t going to view Moddershall Oaks. Heaton House was the place for us. We knew we wanted to get married in Summer 2012, and being a teacher it had to be in the 6 week holidays…. Heaton House Farm was completely booked on Saturdays for the next 2 years, so we booked a Sunday. Sunday 29th July 2012 was to be our day J



    The day of dread was coming so quickly. We had our venue booked and we also booked our photographer, Peartree Pictures. I cannot recommend them highly enough. I know all brides say their photographers are brilliant, but for us these guys were perfect. Completely non-intrusive, but captured all of the special moments on our special day. At one point they were covered in mud from lying in puddles trying to get the perfect reflection shot.



    29th April 2011 was the hardest day of my life. I dropped Mr C off at the barracks and prepared not to see him for nearly 4 months. We had spoken to each other every day since we met, and this was going to be so hard, even more so because he was going to a horrendously dangerous place.


    We decided that wedding planning would be put on hold until he returned. He wanted to be completely involved in the planning of the wedding so I waited for him to come home. Mr C came home to me in November 2011, and the planning began again.


     The day he left for Afghanistan image 

  • The dress

     I knew from the outset that I wanted a simple dress, probably empire line to suit my shape, with very little bling. I didn’t want sequins or diamantes or lace or embroidery. I went to the National Wedding Show in Birmingham with my mom and bridesmaids, and came home with a wedding dress. It was not empire line, it had lots of lace and embroidery and sparkle. Another added bonus was that it cost less than half the ticket price. I had my dream dress for  £500.

     And on with planning....

     We had very clear ideas about the kind of wedding we wanted from the start. Mr C and I are quite into fine dining, and we like to try new restaurants whenever we can. Initially we wanted to have this kind of meal for our wedding breakfast, but it soon became clear to us that firstly we probably couldn’t afford this kind of menu for 100 people, and also many of our friends and family wouldn’t appreciate it, or indeed like it. So we thought long and hard about how to get over this, and bounced loads of ideas off each other. Eventually we came up with fish and chips. A far cry from the fine dining lunch we initially planned, but it set the tone for our summer spectacular

     I like all things crafty and creative, and wanted to show this on our special day. We also knew that we could save a fair bit by doing things ourselves. And so we started, throwing ideas around and making lists.

     The first thing I wanted to make was my bouquet. I wanted something a little different and had seen some brooch bouquets on the net. So I set to work. I bought a job lot of brooches and got some other bits and bobs from ebay and my bridesmaid and I spent a day weaving and twisting wires into place. I was so pleased with the result and everyone who saw it on the day absolutely loved it.


     My brooch bouquet. I sourced an RAF pin to put in it too, as a surprise for my H2B

  • I was so pleased with the bouquet, and I wanted the buttonholes to tie in with it, so I thought I’d make those myself too. Once I got into it, I had loads of ideas and wanted to make so much. We had buttonholes for all the men in the wedding party, and our mums and grandparents. Again, they were just a bit different and something people could keep as a reminder of the day.


     The buttonholes for the men



     My mum's corsage



     My husband and his best man with their homemade buttonholes

  • Sorry Italybride, yes it was in the UK. A place in Macclesfield called Heaton House Farm image

  • nats2013nats2013 Posts: 6,253

    you look amazing, cant wait to see all the bits and bobs!

  • You both look gorgeous together image beautiful dress
  • lovely! love you hair.- more please!

  • This is such a lovely thread, cant wait to read more image

  • Lovely thread!  you look gorgeous image

  • great thread - love your flowers, very creative!  looking forward to more image

  • More please!!! You look absolutely stunning! image

  • Lovely story so far. I can't wait to read more. 

  • Lovely so far, but I always want more!!!


    Congratulations to you and your Husband. 

  • Sorry I've taken a while with the report, been so busy at work. Anyway....

    The bouquet and the buttonholes set the theme really for the entire wedding. We set to work on our perfectly personal day. We wanted our guests to have a party and just really enjoy the day. As we were having a fairly relaxed wedding breakfast, we didn’t want anything too big or intricate for our table centres. We decided to make our own simple decorations.  On half our tables we placed fishbowls filled with pink sand and a hydrangea, really simple, but effective. On the other tables Mr C had a crazy idea to make hot air balloons. I couldn’t understand the vision initially, but actually they worked out brilliantly and everyone loved them. So many people commented on them during the day.


    We also made our own table plan. Again we didn’t want something conventional, so we had a think about how to put it together. We both came up with the idea of a miniture version of the wedding breakfast barn, complete with tables, table centres and place cards. It took a while to put together as the place cards were so fiddly, but definitely work all the effort.



     Our breakfast room - complete with hot air balloons



     Fish bowls



     Our table plan







  • that table plan is amazing! 

  • In terms of our cake, yes you've guessed it, we wanted something a bit different. We had a few initial ideas. Cupcakes have been around a little while and some of our friends have had them at their wedding. They look amazing, but not for us. Then we considered mini eton mess desserts on a tiered stand. That was our favourite idea until we realised it would be a lot of work on the morning of the wedding, as we wanted to make it ourselves. Finally I came up with the idea of cake pops, which we have consequently set up as a business. I had seen a few types of cake pop but we really wanted mini wedding cakes. After hours and hours of experimenting, we came up with 3 tier wedding cakes on sticks so that each guest could have one. It took us hours to make, but it was such a talking point at the wedding, and definitely worth it.


     Our wedding cake



     Each guest had one of these after supper



     Mr C adapted a lego man to make an RAF officer

  • Thank you! We loved it too image

  • Amazing cakes!!!!

  • To fit in with our easy going party theme, we decided not to have a dessert as such. After our fish and chips, speeches and cake cutting, we asked everyone to check the sweetie bags we'd given as favours. In each bag was a dessert ticket, which they were to use at the front of the venue....



     Our dessert



     Me and my bridesmaid.... first in the queue!

  • just gorgeous! amazing, so personal! 

  • Mr C and I have a friend who is a base jumper.... Very dangerous past time to have, but we thought he could prove to be very useful. We wanted an aerial shot of our guests outside the venue, so asked him to do the honours. He used a paramotor to take off from one of the farms nearby and we got all the guests outside for a group shot, taken by our photographer.... Or so they thought, until they heard the whirring sound above their heads...


     Our guests realising what was going on



     The aerial shot



     My nephew and pageboy in awe of the parachute above him!

  • Mr C used to manage bands, before he joined up and his best friends are musical directors of a 28 piece big band. It was the only thing he insisted on in terms of planning for the wedding, so it was decided. A big band it was to be!! We had them play as a four piece jazz band during the drinks reception, and then in the evening they played our first dance song. We had a romantic slow song being played initally and then the big band started up with an arrangement of Paulo Nutini's Pencil Full of Lead. Everyone thought it was a mistake when the music changed from Wonderful tonight, to an upbeat piece. Our bridesmaids, best man and parachuting friend joined us in our choreographed first dance.



     Our first dance





     The band

  • MrsPar13MrsPar13 Posts: 821
    Looks like you had so much fun. The band looks amazing
  • In the evening, we had a hog roast to line everybody's stomachs. It was very well received, and gave everyone the energy they needed to keep dancing. We had a homemade photobooth (homemade props etc), which was frequented all night, and we got some amazing photos to make up our guest book.


    We had such an amazing day, not least because we'd put so much time and effort into making it perfectly personal. It was so lovely to see everything come together, and everyone enjoying themselves.

    We have tons and tons of photos, far too many to put on, but I'll finish with a selection as a photostory of our perfectly personal summer spectacular image



     My gorgeous shoes



     My dress



     Homemade buttonholes



     I made my veil myself.... It annoyed me a bit after a while. My eyelashes kept catching on it!



     My bridesmaids

  • image

     After a very emotional ceremony it was all done!!



     My nephew was off!!



     Shortly before I got a box of confetti shoved down my dress



     Love this photo, even though my dress got filthy because of the puddles



     Us by the wedding tree



     The photo booth



     We sang with the band



     Another photo booth picture



     Our guests having a great time



     The lift from Dirty Dancing image



     Our last dance

  • Thanks Jayellekay. They tasted lovely too image

  • MrsPar2b it really was important to us that everyone had a great time. Although it was our day and we loved every second of it, we wanted all our guests to love it too image

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